China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced today that border inspection offices will begin collecting fingerprints from foreign nationals:
To improve exit and entry administration, according to regulations under the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, and with the approval of the State Council, MPS has decided to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from foreign nationals entering the country. According to a recently issued announcement, in 2017, China’s border inspection offices will roll out procedures at ports of entry open to foreign nationals. Foreign nationals ages 14 to 70 will be required to provide fingerprints. Foreign nationals with diplomatic passports or with mutually beneficial reciprocal arrangements may be exempted. A pilot project will begin on February 10 at Shenzhen Airport and other ports of entry. Subsequently, the procedures will be implemented at additional ports.
Collecting biometric information from persons exiting and entering the country is an important step for strengthening border control. A number of countries have already implemented such measures. Adoption of such measures will increase the effectiveness of China’s border inspection offices, protecting regular international travelers and improving border control.